According to one Avengers-appreciation Web site, three of the seven episodes contained in this two-volume set--"Too Many Christmas Trees," "A Surfeit of H20," and "Dial a Deadly Number"--rank among the 10 best episodes fr... more »om the series' Mrs. Emma Peel era (a fourth, "The Hour That Never Was," is ranked in the top 20), making this the perfect chaser to The Avengers '65 Set 1, Vols. 1 and 2. "What nasty situation have you got in store for me this time?" Mrs. Peel asks in "The Man-Eater of Surrey Green," another of the vintage, black-and-white episodes from the series' breakthrough fourth season, which introduced Diana Rigg in her signature role. The answers make for diabolically clever entertainment in classic Avengers tradition: a "herbicial" plant from outer space (in "The Man-Eater"), matrimonial matchmaker assassins (in "The Murder Market"), a rainmaking vintner (in "H20"), and a brainwashing dentist (in "The Hour"). "Christmas Trees" alone is worth the price of the set. In this haunting episode for all seasons, Steed is plagued by deadly nightmares that have begun to come true. Outfitted at one point as Oliver Twist, Mrs. Peel proves herself to be the woman of our dreams. --Donald Liebenson« less
"These DVD's from A&E represent the best known and certainly the most popular era of the long running British TV fantasy-adventure series "The Avengers." Made between 1965 and 1966, all 26 episodes of the fourth season of the show are available here on eight discs in four sets, or two at a time.When Honor Blackman (Mrs. Cathy Gale) left the series after season 3 to take up the lead role in the Bond movie "Goldfinger," the producers had already made the decision to start filming the series, moving it out of the TV studio and giving it a much glossier and dynamic feel. John Steed (Patrick MacNee), the debonair British government agent stayed on and his new partner was devised by the production team to be another tough, all-action girl with "Man Appeal." M-Appeal (geddit?) Elizabeth Shepherd was cast as Mrs. Emma Peel and two episodes were filmed before it was mutually agreed that she didn't meet the expectations of the production team. A quick replacement was sought and in stepped Diana Rigg. A TV legend was born.The relationship between Steed and Mrs. Gale had always been haughty to say the least. With the introduction of the widowed (or seemingly) Mrs. Peel, the relationship between the two leads became much closer with a great deal of sexual tension. Mrs. Peel was as intelligent, quick thinking and emasculated as her predecessor, and initially at least shared her penchant for leather outfits, but she was also certainly softer and more readily prepared to act as Steed's partner in their adventures.The stories were certainly becoming much more fantasy bound, and the use of diabolical masterminds and organizations with bizarre acronyms became the norm for the stories from this series on. The fantasy and sci-fi elements of the show were highlighted more than before and the fashions and design of the show took on a much more stylish and indeed 'stylized' look. The success of these elements was immediate, and huge ratings in the UK followed, plus overseas transmissions of the show followed for the first time. Such was their success indeed that another 26 episodes were soon commissioned, this time to be made in color.The stories have supposedly been digitally re-mastered for these DVD releases, and indeed the picture quality is pretty impressive, but there is still sparkle and dirt on the prints that may detract from the quality for some viewers. The 26 episodes are presented in the same order of their original UK transmission. Unfortunately, as with all the A&E Avengers releases, there are no extras at all. Not even production notes. However, there are menus included, which are nicely done.This for me is the very best season of the show, with great style and wit accompanying the excellent scripts, direction and production values. I'd certainly recommend this release to anyone."
Second sets of DVD with Emma Peel
Deborah MacGillivray | US & UK | 10/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Second set of 1965 era has Steed and Peel gelling as partners. Rigg and Macnee have the perfect sizzle of chemistry. Admiration in their eyes, the flash and fire, but all kept quite under control as they function together to stop the evil menace against Britain. I have seen some say this series came about because of the success of the Bond Film, but it was already on the air with the early episodes, and follow in the trek of Patrick MacGoohan's "Danger Man", which turned into "Secret Agent" (and then into "the Prisoner"). These seven episodes are still in B&W, which I think even added to this mysterious ambiance of the episodes. Being able to film in lower light, permits those deep shadows, giving a sinister touch.
1) "The Murder Market" takes Steed and Emma undercover at a marriage bureau, ending with Steed rescuing Emma from being buried alive as she gets too close to the "black widows" at the center of this evil plot 2) "A Surfeit of H20" A freak rainstorm drowns locals in the fields. Fearing this is the return of the "Great Flood", they villagers have begun building a new Ark. Emma is stylish even in a Mac! 3) "The Hour That Never Was" Steed visits his old RAF airbase in Hamlin. Hours are missing in people's memories, so Steed and Emma must uncover brainwashing saboteurs, threatening England. 4) "Dial a Deadly Number" have Steed and Emma investigating a device called a "Bleeper". The Bleeper is designed to help millionaires keep in touch, but an evil doer has set it to reach out and kill. 5) "Man-Eater of Surrey Green" When a outer space artichoke, lands and takes root, and begins killing eminent horticulturists, Emma and Steed get out the Roundup. Rocky and Bullwinkle fought a similar plant in the cartoons - wonder who was first...lol? 6) "Two's A Crowd" Russian agents had let loose a doppelganger for Steed, in order to infiltrate a defense conference 7) "Too Many Christmas Trees" is one of my fav episodes. Steed has been having a strange nightmare, so he welcomes the invitation for Hols in the country at friends. He invites Emma to tag along. They dress up in period costumes, and all seem to have a good time, but Emma begins to suspect Steed's dream is not a dream, but someone trying to control Steed's mine through telepathy
Just great fun to have these on DVD. "
One of the best of THE AVENGERS sets!
Yara Duarte | Miami, FLORIDA United States | 06/08/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am still kind of angry that A&E releases TV shows in episode groups instead of season sets, making all the sets way too expensive, even knowing they are all bare bones with no extras at all! (They recently got it right with the upcoming THE NEW AVENGERS: COMPLETE FIRST SEASON) Well, this set is one of the best. Diana Rigg is not my favorite Avenger girl (Joanna Lumney as Purdey in THE NEW AVENGERS is) but she shows here why she became the most popular all around the world (Except for France, they like Tara King) and probally Steed's favorite. THE MURDER MARKET- An excellent dark but funny episode. The Hitchcockian direction is superb like the fantastic aquarium murder during the intro. Funny moments include Steed imitating a fish and Emma dancing around her coffin. However, there are a few cons: This was Diana's first episode, and the writers were trying to make her a Cathy Gale-type of character who argues with Steed. Don't get me wrong, I love the Cathy Gale episodes as well, but this isn't Emma! It's Cathy! The other con is the embarassing use of a male stunt to replace Diana Rigg during a fall. (4/5) A SURFEIT OF H20- This episode's plot was taken to do the mediocre movie in 1998. It deals with A DIABOLICAL MASTERMIND who creates a weather-making machine! Quite overrated. The villain is too nice and his diabolocal plan is rather weak. There is also the annoying Noah-like character that screams through the entire episode. There are still some good moments, like the slippery fight at the end. Let's not forget the way victims die: It makes no sense! (3.5/5) THE HOUR THAT NEVER WAS- This starts off as a Twilight Zone episode, with Steed and Emma inside a deserted airbase trying to figure out what is going on! It is soon explained, only at the end. This is a very fun episode. The first half, with nothing but dialogue between Rigg and McNee is very amusing. (4.5/5) DIAL A DEADLY NUMBER- Before the pager was invented, there was the bleeper! Businessmen are dying from heart-attacks and Steed tries to crack the case. They all were carrying a pager-like device inside their pockets. What could it be? If you love the Cathy Gale episodes like me, you are going to love this one. Very dark episode with excellent funny moments like the wine-tasting contest. Only con: The plot is quite confusing after a while. (4.5/5) THE MEN-EATER AT SURREY GREEN- This episode puzzles me. It is a very funny take at the many Sci-Fi and B-Horror flicks from the 50's. There are many hilarious moments here (Was that "moon vegetation" line intentional?) and the old lady always cracks me up. But there are some moments that are way too dark and sad for such an apisode such as the electrocution. Let's not forget the Laura sub-plot that is dropped out half-way through. If you excuse the horrible stuntwork during the climatic fight, (The stuntman from THE MURDER MARKET is back again!) you will have a fun time. But it is still a silly "bad" episode. (3/5) TWO'S A CROWD- This is a quite good episode. The doopledanger issue is done quite well here. The actio sequence at the end featuring model bombers is excellent. (4/5) BONUS: TOO MANY CHRISTMAS TREES- Simple: This is one of the best AVENGERS ever! You have a fair X-Files plot, good villains, excellent creepy Christmas atmosphere, some horror movie elements, silly dream sequences, hilarious dialogue, and the great relationship between Steed and Emma. The tag scene is not to be missed! (Did they kiss?) One thing however: What happened to the psychic villainess? Well, enjoy the show! (5/5)"
More Avengers gold in black & white!
Paul | Michigan,USA | 03/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Avengers '65 Sets 1 and 2 are a "must have" for any Avengers fan--especially fans, like me, who grew up in the 1960's while watching the series on ABC-TV. The '65 sets feature perhaps the most original, certainly the most British, episodes in the '65 - '67 series. "Too Many Christmas Trees" and "A Surfeit of H2O" are my personal favorites."
MY FAVORITE AVENGERS SET OF ALL TIME!
Deborah MacGillivray | 12/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the BEST of all the Avengers sets. Every one is a gem! Patrick Macnee as John Steed and Diana Rigg as Emma Peel are "Superly" Fabulous! This set includes: The Murder Market, A Surfeit of H20, The Hour That Never Was, Dial A Deadly Number, Man-eater of Surrey Green, Two's A Crowd, and EVEN FOR A BONUS, they give you: Too Many Many Christmas Trees! THIS IS THE BEST SET OF THE AVENGERS!"